But as much as you might dread the details of complex marketing programs, at Print & Marketing Solutions Group we thrive on them. After all, versions are essential to testing and customization, two of the most powerful tools in direct marketing. Testing tells you what works best with an audience in general. Customization makes your campaign more appealing to specific audience segments.
So when a client reaps the benefits of a complex, multi-version marketing program, we find it very fulfilling—and so do they. Example: a major university turned to us when they needed to:
•report standardized test scores to more than 25,000 middle school students across the U.S. and
•provide test-result summaries to the students’ 2,500+ schools.
We saw the project in broader terms: A chance to streamline the process for the university and simplify the distribution of materials. This resulted in faster reporting to the schools, fewer customer service calls and the ability to promote additional programs earlier than previously possible.
Capitalizing on the “relationship power” of customization, we produced five different letters personalized with data from 52 different fields, inserted them with six different flyers and brochures and mailed them to each student. Thus, the mailing had a total of 1,560 possible unique versions.
Taking a similar approach to the school-reporting mailing, we began by designing a program to laser print and collate a customized packet for each school, consisting of:
•a bar-coded mailing label for each school, displaying the different tests their students took
•a multi-page roster with all of the students’ names and test scores
•personalized certificates of completion for the school and each of its participating students
These packets were inserted into folders with 8 to 12 different brochures and letters depending on the contents printed on each label, and packed in envelopes or cartons.
The matching label was placed on each package, and we shipped the 2,500+ packages via an expedited mailing service, saving the university more than $5,000 compared to traditional ground shipping services.
Each year that we have worked with the university on this program, we have further streamlined the manual process of matching labels, rosters and certificates by automating the collation and matching. Our growing role as their fulfillment partner has saved them the time and hassle of managing extra people and fulfillment materials, allowing them to focus on their “core” tasks of managing academic programs.